Two photos directly above: DerekBridges@Flickr
Top image & 1915 photo: Infrogmation@Wikimedia.Commons
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|The first Steele Chapel was built in the early 1840's and located on Magazine Street. It was called
the "Flatboat Church" because it had been built from broken-up flatboats, but was later renamed
the Elijah Steele Chapel. Not long after it was established, a merger of three churches came
about: the Steele Chapel, the Andrew Chapel and St. Mary's.
A new church at the corner of Felicity and Chestnut Streets was dedicated on Christmas Day, 1850,
and was originally called Steele Chapel. This church burned down in 1887. When the church was
rebuilt in 1888 it became known as the Felicity Street Methodist Church. Electric lights were
installed in the new building, one of the first churches in the city to have electricity. The roof and
tower were damaged in the 1915 hurricane and rebuilt in a different style.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed a portion of the roof and the church sustained severe water
damage. The decision was made to sell the building. The fate of the historic church was
uncertain, but, happily, the building was purchased and the new owners did an amazing job of
renovating and restoring. It is now Felicity Church, LLC -- a beautiful and elegant venue for
weddings and other events. It made a splash in the news in 2014 when singer Beyonce's sister,
Solange, held her rehearsal dinner there. The old church has been given a brand new life.
|Steele Chapel, 1854
New Life for the Old Felicity Methodist Church
|Left: Felicity Methodist Church, ca. 1890;
Right: the church after it was damaged in the 1915 hurricane.
|Above & below: Felicity Church looking a little sad,
while it was still for sale, before the extensive renovation.